2009 – A Thankyou

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all my readers in 2009. Thank you for all your lovely comments, feedback and inspiration and all of that keeps me going.  I love that people from all over the world read Violet Posy and are kind enough to leave a comment.

It’s been a great year for Violet Posy, I had my second anniversary, Thrifty Christmas was fun and helped out a lot of people. In November I was delighted to have my biggest ever month with over 8,000 visitors, I made it into the Top 10 British Parent Bloggers, I was in Red Magazine with some of the other fabulous British Mummy Bloggers, somehow I’m Number 22 in the Technorati Home Blogs (no idea how that happened?) and I’ve had lovely support from my Sponsors and PR people who I’ve come into contact with.  I’ve also met some of the most wonderful supportive women through British Mummy Bloggers and Twitter – you’re all the best!

As you can see I’m in the middle of making Violet Posy over for 2010 (I still have no idea how it’s going to look!), but hopefully you’ll all like it. I’m hoping to launch a small Violet Posy store in the New Year, along with Violet Posy Design which will be a blog makeover and badge design service.  I also have an idea for a new blog in the pipeline – so watch this space 🙂

Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year!

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The Noughties

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I sat down to write a post about the noughties and then I realised how much had happened! So forgive me if this is a bit long.

Ten years ago this week I was a single woman, who had only recently moved into her own flat (gorgeously decorated of course!), I was planning a massive night out for Millennium New Years Eve, with my friends despite us all supposedly being on-call for the Y2K bug.  I’d only recently met Paul, but it must have been promising as he was entered on my phone as ‘Nice Paul’!.

Since then well here’ s the quick version as it’s been eventful……

2000 – I went for a girlie weekend shopping in New York and ended up in Texas, Started seeing Paul, Changed jobs, Changed jobs again

2001 – Lost a baby, Got engaged, Changed jobs, Moved 100 miles from home, Spent 9/11 in Vancouver

2002 – Got Married! Got Pregnant!

2003 – Had my beautiful baby Miss L, Left work and became a Stay at Home Mum

2003-2006 – Moved house, Learnt what it was like to be isolated and at home with a baby in a town where you know no one. Manically decorated and gardened as I had nothing else to do and started the original Geek Mum blog. Travelled to Miami for my best friend Patricia’s wedding.

2006 – Went back to work as Miss L was 3 and was starting at nursery. My parents moved to Norfolk from Surrey. Worked my butt off as an IT Manager

2007 – Got Betty, In December realised I didn’t have a job anymore, broke my heart and resigned after our company was taken over. Started Violetposy

2008 – Started my own company in web design and internet marketing for local small companies.

2009 – Violet Posy takes off and I start talking to A Modern Mother about starting a group called ‘British Mummy Bloggers’,  I’m in Red Magazine and the Independent on Sunday. My parents celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary.

In those years I’ve lost some family members Bill, Jean, Ron and Vera who I’ll always love and miss. I’ve gained new friends Susie, Sam, Nikki, Kate who are some of the greatest friends a girl could have! Stayed in touch with friends who live so far away but are still so much a part of our lives still.  Been to weddings and been delighted to meet my friends beautiful children. Understood what it is to be a hardworking stay at home Mum – seriously the hardest job in the universe and I feel awful that I always underestimated women who stay at home with their children!  Worked with a ton of people who have made me laugh and been kind generous folk to a working Mum.  So to all the people who have made a difference in my life in the last 10 years – love you all x

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Over for another year….

Did everyone have a good Christmas?

As usual it was over too quickly but it was wonderful.  We spent most of the holiday with family and friends, but Christmas Day was on our own. I decided years ago not to get into the whole ‘who’s family’s turn it is Christmas Day thing’ – also travelling with babies, all their stuff and presents is a nightmare. We did it once and never again!  But we spent the night before Christmas Eve at my parents, which was lots of fun and an awesome roast from my Mum – thanks Mum xx  Christmas Eve we visited some friends and then Boxing Day was at Paul’s parents and Miss L had a wonderful time playing with her cousins.

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Christmas Day was special though and this year the change in Miss L was amazing – so grown up! She woke up at 5am and instead of opening all of her presents in her stocking, she got into bed with us and waited until we woke up. How well restrained – much better than me at that age.   The funniest thing was trying to put her Playmobil pyramid together – seriously I had to give up in the end and get Paul to do it. It would have taken me hours!

We then spent the rest of the day playing with our new toys, and watching the penultimate David Tennant Dr Who – which was brilliant and for the first time ever at Christmas didn’t make me cry 😉

Now it’s time to clear up, find a home for that pyramid, and figure out my New Year Plans (resolutions are too hard to stick with!) and to decided how Violet Posy will look for the next few months!.

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White Christmas

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It snowed!!

I can’t remember when it last snowed at Christmastime in the UK, but Friday morning we woke up to 5 inches here in East Anglia.  Two days later it’s still not showing any signs of going and we have more coming in tonight apparently.

Yesterday we thought the roads wouldn’t be too bad as it had been a couple of days, so went up to Norfolk to visit my parents….oh my word what a mistake! The roads were covered in ice it didn’t like they’d been gritted at all, and it was -6 degrees.  So it was very nice to snuggle in front of my parents log burner and be fed stew by my Mum when we got there. Miss L helped my parents put their Christmas decorations up and then had a snowball fight with my Dad in the garden – I think it was a draw seeing the state of them both when they came in 🙂

This is probably my last post now until after Christmas, I have tons to do this coming week wrapping presents, visiting friends and family, queuing at the butchers, and heading to the market for fresh fruit and veg – let alone making mince pies and keeping Miss L entertained.

So I’d like to wish you all a really wonderful Christmas with your loved ones.  Thanks to everyone who’s joined in with the Christmas Tour it’s been lovely having people share how they spend the holidays.

Happy Christmas!!

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The Nutcracker

The Royal Opera House (oh yeah get me, all cultured!) asked me if I’d like to join in with their festive interactive Advent Calendar. How could I say no with my own mini Angelina Ballerina at home – she loves it!

So here is a Christmassy ballet clip from The Nutcracker Suite enjoy!

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Silent Night

Yesterday we saw Miss L in what will be her final Nativity. I was the teary proud Mum in the second row, and they all did a wonderful performance. I know I don’t normally do video, but this is cute. It’s her year singing ‘Silent Night’ in German with their German teacher and they are all very good.

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Christmas Link Love

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Christmas is nearly upon us and I should imagine I’ll only be able to get out a couple of more blog posts before Christmas.  I’ve just looked a the wrapping pile in the cupboard and shut the door again! But I am going to have to tackle it this week as we’ll be delivering presents to friends and family this coming weekend.  So I think I’ll have to an evening with Love Actually on and a glass of wine and a mince pie or three – that should help the pain!  I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s participated in the Christmas Tour. It’s been fun seeing how everyone has decorated for the Christmas season – there are some fabulous decorations and trees to be seen there.

But onto Link Love – there are from my Google Reader and a ‘best bits’ of what I’ve read in the last week or two.  They obviously have a Christmas theme this week, I hope you enjoy them.

Coping with Christmas

The Pressures of the Holidays – How to Simplify and Refocus – Inspired Room

Make your Food Gifts – Simple Mom

Sorting out a Christmas Tool Kit – Single Parent Dad

Christmas Decorations

Semi DIY Handmade, Holiday Gifts – Grayson: A different shade of Grey

Garnish your Gifts – The Nester

Oh Tannenbaum – Mirror, Mirror

Free Printables: Deer Holiday Templates – Creative Comforts

Watin’ for Santa – Sadie Olive

Free Printables – Christmas Tags – Living Locurto

Christmas Tree for the Traditionalist – The City Sage

Simple Holiday Decorating – Heather Bullard

Holiday Decorating for less than $2 – Remodelling this Life

Children and Christmas

A Christmas Letter – Sweet Craftiness

Christmas Lectures – It’s hard not to be interested in Science when.. – A Modern Mother

A Christmas Letter – Sweet Craftiness

Christmas Lectures – It’s hard not to be interested in Science when.. – A Modern Mother

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas x

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{New Sponsor} Mirror, Mirror

I’m very excited to announce that Violet Posy has a wonderful new sponsor Mirror Mirror.  Paola who runs Mirror, Mirror not only has fabulous taste with her store, she also has a fabulously stylish blog too.

**UPDATE** Had a comment from Paola below offering FREE SHIPPING to VP Readers

“I also want to offer your readers free shipping on their whole order. Just choose the ‘Free Shipping w/Offer Code” option when you come to check out and then add the code ‘Violet Posy’ in the ‘How did you hear about us?’ box in the shopping basket (it should all become clear when you get there!)”

Here are some of my favourite gift ideas from Mirror, Mirror

If you’re looking for a stunning Christmas present for a loved one pop over to Mirror, Mirror and have a look.

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{Guest Post} Thrifty Christmas – Whiskey Bottles

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More Thrifty Christmas ideas, this time from Claire of the fabulous Snug Baby, this is such a great idea for the men of the family.

“My eldest son was born on 1st December 2004, which didn’t give a lot of time for doing anything personalised (hand or footprints type thing) for Christmas that year. I did want to do something though, so came up with this idea. It’s miniature bottles of whisky, with a photo of Ben, along with his name, and the general type of stuff you get on a whisky bottle (instead of 10 years old, it says 24 days old – his age at the time). I think the total cost was less than £5, and we did two bottles. Needless to say, although they were intended for consumption, they have remained unopened, and take pride of place on the dresser in Grandad’s kitchen. It’s a lovely (cheap) idea particularly for Grandads who may not appreciate some of the more traditional personalised gifts associated with babies.”

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{Thrifty Christmas Guest Post} Footprints on a Plate

Continuing with the Thrifty Christmas them my friend Claire Lancaster has come up with this nifty Christmas present if you have little ones. Over to Claire

‘This week I took Baby G to make a plate for my mum, her Grandma, for Christmas.  I did this with my lil’ H and wanted to create the same in pink so Grandma would have the “full set” – please note there won’t be anymore to collect!’

What a great idea, I wish I’d made some when Miss L was little!

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Christmas Shopping at Bicester Village

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The lovely folk at Bicester Village invited me over for another Blogger’s shopping day. As you remember I went to one in April and it was fabulous, so I was more than happy to go back again.  This time, I dragged was accompanied by my lovely husband who wanted to help me carry my shopping bags and come with me on the road trip over there. It’s about 2.5 hours from our house, so bit of a trek but well worth it.

We got there at 10.30 having dropped Miss L at breakfast club early, and were greeted at the VIP suite by lovely Stacey who is the Bicester Village Blogger and Tweeter and shares all the latest finds from the stores.  Her and her team had done a fabulous job with a champagne breakfast – the chocolate croissants were lush! And there were lots of bloggers there who were looking forward to a good girlie shopping fest.  So armed with a Bicester Village donated giftcard/credit card we headed out to the stores.

Paul was a bit disappointed to not see more men’s computer/hi fi/electronics stores, but he was kept going with a Starbucks Ginerbread Latte and a trip into Fat Face, where he got a very nice cardigan.

You just know where I headed……

Where I bought some Christmas presents….I can’t show you as they all read the blog. But I bought this for myself as a Happy Christmas to me present 🙂 I love it to bits!

This time I also headed to the new bookstore they have there which had some great art books, White Company to check out the bedlinens and children’s PJ’s which I love and Petit Bateau had some adorable baby clothes.  I also popped into Links of London, I wore a bracelet at the Red Photoshoot which I fell a little in love with but I had no idea how much they cost. I was more than a little shocked when I found out!!  But sadly it wasn’t in the store at a super, super discount, but they had some great bargains in there.

All in all it was a fabulous day, I finished my Christmas shopping, got to spent the day with my husband and got to meet some great bloggers including the lovely Amanda from PonteCarloorBust. Thank you Bicester Village x

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{Guest Post} Thrifty Christmas from Bambino Goodies

Following on from the Thrifty Christmas, Natalie from the fabulous Bambino Goodies has come up with a Trendy Bib which is easily made and would be a great inexpensive present for friends or family with babies.

Trendy bibs always go down well as they can end up becoming part of the outfit. They’re actually quite quick and easy to make, especially if you use a sewing machine, although it’s not too labour intense for hand stitching either.

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You can make a pattern by drawing around a favourite bib, or if you’re sewing book mad like me, I highly recommend Aranzo Aranzi’s ‘Baby Stuff’ £6.19 (where I got my pattern) or Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing for Baby: 24 Easy Projects for Newborns to Toddlers, £10.39 both on Amazon. Choose fabrics that standout for a bit of quirk – this is a great way to get rid of scraps.

For extra absorbency, I used a white towel to make the backing, or you could just buy towelling which will probably create less mess…. Alternatively you can just use the same fabric on the reverse. You basically need two pieces for the bib (one lovely fabric/one towelling or two lovely fabrics) and some velcro. Cut out your two bib pieces and two small pieces of velcro – round the edges of the velcro so that they’re not sharp. I find it easier to stitch the velcro pieces onto one of the fabric pieces at this point so that the stitching for them can’t be seen.

Match the two bib pieces together inside out and stitch together leaving a decent gap at the bottom which makes it easier to turn them the right side out and then do an overlock stitch by hand to close the two sides or just make sure that the fabric is tucked in neatly before you stitch over it with the sewing machine to close it…like I did.

Great little Christmas gifts, you can of course, make them as gifts for little arrivals.
To see more wonderful ideas check out Natalie’s blog at Bambino Goodies

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Violet Posy Christmas Decorations Tour

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The decorations at our house are up. Miss L and I decided that they should go up on the 1st December to make the most of the holiday season.  The tradition is that Paul and Miss L put up the tree and then Miss L and I decorate it.  This year we’ve gone ‘glamorous’ and Miss Miss L was in charge of choosing all the decorations as you can tell from it being full of baubles 🙂

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Here are a few of our favourites

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Miss L then went onto decorate the stairs with the remaining tinsel (I think we might need a bit more and some greenery!) and then she decorated the pink tree in her bedroom with some cute battery powered lights we found in the supermarket and lots of baubles left over from the big tree.

Happy Christmas to you all x

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